Maintaining independence and trust in an evolving marketing technology landscape

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It has been said time and again that apps are fast becoming the lifeblood of the digital economy, given the surge in app demand. This is particularly true in the Southeast Asia region, characterised by increased smartphone penetration, a rising middle-class population, and savvy new-age digital consumers with a mobile-first mindset.

According to Bain, the total number of internet users in the region reached 400 million in 2020, a significant fraction of which are new internet users. Meanwhile, online spend is projected to grow 320% between 2018 and 2025.

With Southeast Asia emerging as one of, if not the most vibrant digital ecosystems in the world, brands smart enough to digitally optimise are quickly pivoting their marketing strategies to a mobile-first approach. A significant chunk are even doing mobile-only.

This has inadvertently led to a surge in demand for mobile attribution services, which empower brands with insights around mobile engagement.

The region’s mobile attribution landscape has indeed been seeing accelerated growth, with a steady stream of announcements around new cross-channel product roll-outs and market consolidations in the past few years.

For brands that want to play their cards right, it is imperative their marketers know how to navigate these rigorous industry tides, and find the right mobile attribution partner to better seize opportunities in today’s mobile-first, and sometimes, mobile-only, era.

The evolving mobile attribution landscape, and the implications for marketers

The app market holds much promise if mobile marketers only know how to maintain a firm footing in the face of fierce competition, and continue to keep their users engaged.

Based on our research, in spite of high download rates, 50% of apps are actually uninstalled by consumers within 30 days of downloading the app. Needless to say, it is not enough to merely drive app downloads; after all, while getting consumers to download the app can get one’s foot in the door, customer retention is equally critical in growing and maintaining a steady and solid customer base. Most mobile attribution providers have recognised this, and have moved from merely delivering insights around app installs towards giving mobile marketers a better perspective, even after users have already installed the app.

In an increasingly complex mobile attribution landscape, typified by even more market consolidation, coupled with challenges around Apple’s recent IDFA announcement and the GPS ADID, digital marketers are even more hard-pressed to find a reliable partner that can empower them with attribution data.

Given increasingly limited budgets and resources, this data is pivotal in helping brands achieve optimal insights around ad and re-marketing campaigns.

As marketers focus on customer centricity and delivering more personalised campaigns, it is equally important to have a reliable, independent and unbiased partner that puts data privacy as a top priority.

Mobile ad marketers, after all, should be able to trust the attribution data provided is most relevant to their brand’s requirements, and that it is in the best interest of the advertiser, devoid of any underlying conflict of interest.

The importance of having a clean, clear performance measurement cannot be overemphasised. With the prevalence of mobile ad fraud, including forced clicks, instal hijacking, and click-flooding, mobile ad marketers risk getting false negatives and false positives, which can simply derail their efforts around optimising mobile marketing strategies if they are unable to find a reliable mobile attribution partner.

Trust and independence: The way forward for the mobile attribution industry

It goes without saying that building superior technology, products and services are just one side of the coin for attribution providers. Being open and transparent can prove to be a comparative advantage, as delivering value to marketers and the entire marketing ecosystem takes centre stage in the new app economy.

Mobile attribution providers should, thus, allay fears around conflicts of interest and data privacy concerns, and first and foremost, redirect their focus on building consistency over time to the marketers they serve. Only then can trust be earned, and sustainable growth achieved, amid the backdrop of a fast-evolving sector characterised by rapid demand for digitalisation and mobile commerce in the new normal.

Delivering insights that empower marketing decisions is a huge responsibility that has to be taken seriously. And this is why delivering measurement solutions that combine great end-user experience and value, while maintaining the highest standards of privacy protection, is the only way forward for attribution players to make a bigger impact and create a better future for the app ecosystem.

Key takeaways

But where and how do you start? First, ensure that your vendor’s principles are aligned with your own, and are strongly positioned to support your needs in the long term.

Second, treat third party data like first party data: it’s no longer adequate to have your back end systems secure and enterprise-grade. With data as your most valuable company virtue, whether direct or aggregated, always remember to guard it on whatever platform it is being measured by.

Last, conducting due diligence on your vendor’s ownership, history of liability, and financial stability now may save you from painful and even destructive privacy-related issues in the future.

After all, when it comes to data protection, trust is key – and is exactly why we believe attribution providers should remain unbiased and independent.

 appsflyer mar 1

The writer is Ronen Mense (pictured above), president and managing director for AppsFlyer APAC.